Members of Oklahoma’s Team Washington, (from left) Teresa Potter, Deji Dugger, Beth Howard and Jan McClaren, gather in front of Mount Vernon during the George Washington Summer Teacher Institute.

In 2008, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens received a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation to launch the nation’s first George Washington Teaching Ambassador Program in Oklahoma. The mission of the program is to teach Oklahoma teachers and students about Washington’s character, accomplishments and legacy.

The program has been supported by several Oklahoma partners, including the Kirkpatrick Foundation, the Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma A+ Schools, the Oklahoma State Department of Education and the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.

From 2008-2010, Medal for Excellence-winning history teacher Jan McClaren of Claremore served as the first George Washington Teaching Ambassador, sharing lessons about Washington with thousands of Oklahoma students and teachers.

Due to the overwhelming success of the Program, Mount Vernon has teamed up with its Oklahoma partners in 2011 to launch the second phase of the Teaching Ambassador Program. McClaren will be joined by three other Oklahoma A+ Schools teaching fellows – Teresa Potter, Deji Dugger and Beth Howard – to serve as Team Washington and lead professional development workshops for educators. The Oklahoma History Center will be providing interactive George Washington Educational Trunks focusing on Washington’s leadership in the Revolutionary War and on Washington as a visionary farmer.

The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence is supporting the effort by hosting this website and creating a Directory of Online Mentors in Early American History. The mentoring program is made possible by Mount Vernon and Colonial Williamsburg teacher institute graduates who have volunteered to provide expert advice and classroom resources to fellow Oklahoma teachers.

For more information on the George Washington Teaching Ambassador Program, contact Jan McClaren at jmcclaren@mountvernon.org or phone (918) 277-4402.

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